Simple Wedding Planning Blog

4 Brilliant Tips on How to Handle Your Guest List

Who to invite and not to invite?

A million-dollar question that needs to be answered when you start working on your guest list. Before you decide on booking a wedding venue, you have to determine the size of the party first. Weddings are personal and expensive so you really have to think about each person that should be included in your list. 

Your wedding is a celebration of love and commitment and, surely, you and your partner wanted to invite a lot of people to witness your vows. But is it really necessary to include those on your “maybe” list? You may have to make some compromises if you really want to keep your wedding intimate. This article will serve as a guideline on how you can start creating your guest list.

What is a guest list for a wedding?


A wedding guest list is a list of people that you want to invite to your wedding. Creating a guest list can be a daunting task- thinking about all the people in your life and how in the world do you choose? When you are trying to limit your guest while making sure that you are not hurting anybody’s feelings is a bit trickier than you think. So here are some helpful tips on how you can handle your wedding guest lists.

No. 1 Make a list of people you don’t want to invite 


The number of guests can greatly affect the wedding budget, the vibe of the event and the wedding venue. Cutting the number of guests by not inviting someone will always have the possibility of eliciting hurt feelings and you don’t want to start your marriage life upsetting a distant relative or a cousin’s cousin. Here is a list of people that you might not want to be present on your wedding day:


  • Family members, you never talk to. It can be your mother’s sister or a cousin, no matter how closely related you are as long as you think that they are not a part of your life anymore, cut them off the list.  While suggests that inviting estranged family members is deeply personal and should be completely your choice. If they may have hurt you in the past and you don’t want to stir up unwanted emotions during your special day, then you should not feel guilty about not having them on your guest list.


  • Do not invite the exes. Still friends with your ex? If you’re only doing it to make him jealous or to make him realize that you’re the one who got away, strongly advises you to just take him off the list since you will only be asking for drama! Your wedding day celebration with your spouse is already plenty of fun without the need to be fueled by your ex’s misery.


  • Should you invite your co-workers? Inviting your co-workers is one way to quickly expand the number of guests especially if they will bring their significant others as plus one. The risk of hurting their feelings if you decide not to invite them is also inevitable. If you want to consider inviting one, suggests that you have to at least prepare yourself on how to handle the rest of your co-workers’ comments and reactions.


  • Invite kids, but with limitations. If you are looking for ways to keep your guest list to a minimum, deciding to only have kids of a certain age group, maybe 8 and up, to invite is one way and it keeps the crying kids out of the picture. 


If you want your wedding to be an adult-only affair, then you have to be consistent with your no-kids-at-the-wedding policy. The rule has to apply to every guest. You also need to understand that with this kind of rule, some of the parents will not attend or have to go home early to attend to their children. 

If you decide to allow the kids to join the party, consider providing a “daycare” for kids ages 6 and under or hire babysitters to watch over them. This is a great way to keep them entertained with fun kid-friendly activities along with kid-friendly meals from the caterer.


  • All the other random people. You are not obligated to invite a next-door neighbor and a friend of a friend with whom you have socialized once or twice to your wedding. If you are not seeing and interacting with those persons regularly and you want to keep your guest list short, it’s probably best to keep them off the list. You get the point!


No. 2  Make a list of people you want to be at the wedding

You want to be surrounded by people you love and care about the most on your wedding day. You want guests who will support and celebrate with you on your big day without the drama, toxicity and negative vibes. 

You and your fiance will have to discuss the majority of the guests to be invited and if you are allowing your parents to invite people you can give them a cut off maybe 10 total or 10 per parent for the bride and groom side. Just make sure that you and your partner are clear with the number of guests that should be invited from each side of the family. 

The immediate family members should be on the top of the list, followed by the wedding party, the extended family and friends who are basically like a family to you. The general rule of thumb is, for example, you sent out 200 invitations, 150 of the invited guests will probably be present on your big day. recommends that you have to anticipate that 75%-80% of your RSVPs will answer “yes”. 

No.3 Wedding RSVP on Website

An RSVP invitation is a great way to limit your wedding guest count. If you are on a budget or the venue is not large enough to accommodate several people, sending an RSVP can limit random people and “mystery guests” from joining the party. It is also one way of making sure that you are only inviting intimate people and a polite way of saying that the guest list is limited so they can only bring a significant other as a plus one. 

There are a lot of RSVP cards and templates on other wedding rsvp websites that you can readily download and edit. You can always place them in an envelope and address them exactly to the person that you want to invite. I advise you to not include the phrases “and family” or “and guest” if you don’t want them to bring whoever they want. But you could always write the line “ we have reserved __ seats in your honor” so they will have an idea of how many extra people can tag along. With RSVP invitations, you can easily validate your guest count once the replies come in. 

No.4 Let’s talk about the plus ones

Make sure you truly think about how you want this to go otherwise you have plus ones left and right! Who amongst your guests are entitled to a plus one? Those who are married, a VIP guest who would definitely feel left out if he doesn’t bring a plus one and members of the wedding team would really appreciate the courteous offer. 

The offer of a plus one is not required to be given to everyone. If your guest is casually dating and you don’t want them to bring an uninvited guest just simply address the RSVP invitation to that particular person. Your guests will understand and it is common etiquette to comply with the number of guests in the RSVP invite. 

We can never deny the fact  that you will encounter some shake-ups after sending out your invitations so make sure that your guest list is flexible when it comes to additional guests and unexpected attendees. But always keep in mind that the more people you add on, the more money it will cost. Be sure that you are open to shifting guest reservations around to accommodate everyone. 

The Takeaways


Creating a guest list for your wedding day seems fun and easy, but it is actually a daunting task when you dive into it. Try to keep in mind the tips discussed in this article to serve as a guideline to make the job easier. Start brainstorming with your partner and make a list of your “must invite” and those whom you don’t want to be included in the list. Having a general idea of the number of guests you are expecting during the wedding will save you a ton of money and headache during the big day. 

Now, are you ready to start creating your guest list? If you’re looking for more wedding tips and inspiration on how to start planning your beautiful DIY wedding, you can visit us at We are always ready to help you make your wedding planning simple and easy!

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